04/23/2017  |  Try This: Spicy Peanut-Coconut Noodles with Rising Sun IPA

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Beer and vegetarian fare—it’s a winner! Yet it’s something that’s often overlooked at beer pairings. Vegetarian dishes give creative chefs more to work with as typically “secondary” ingredients take center stage. Adding the right beer serves to enhance those culinary efforts—just ask those in attendance at Maple Shade’s recent vegan beer dinner (a first for Iron Hill), which sold out quickly and left many customers requesting an encore date.

Missed the vegan beer dinner? No worries, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s Scot Seher Jr., Maple Shade’s Head Chef, whipped up a vegetarian recipe you can make at home using Rising Sun, now available in 16-oz. cans. “Beer isn’t just something to drink with your food,” he explained. “It complements and contrasts flavors to turn food into an experience because it pairs with each component of the dish. It elevates ingredients that are normally side dishes to star status.”

Do you think barbeque, steak or other hearty proteins when you think beer? You’re not alone. Yet according to Scot, his recipe, Spicy Peanut-Coconut Noodles with Rising Sun IPA, would not be better with beef, chicken or even shrimp added; it would just be different. Adding American-style IPA Rising Sun, a light, well-balanced beer with notes of lemon and coconut plus a pronounced hop-kick from Japanese Sorachi Ace hops, showcases the recipe’s fresh, crisp veggies and complex sauce.

“Rising Sun makes sense for a few reasons,” Scot added. “The spice and fruit notes come through nicely with the coconut milk and spices used in the dish. Plus, the Japanese Sorachi Ace hops bring out spice and citrus notes that work well with an Asian dish.”

Scot’s pleased to note that Iron Hill offers vegetarians several menu options, plus more as daily specials. Those who prefer not to eat meat or fish should check out the Mediterranean wrap, the black bean burger, salads and pizzas, plus a number of appetizers.

“Any salad or pizza can be made without protein,” Scot added. “See something else you’d like to customize? Just ask. We also have a special menu for those with gluten sensitivity.”

Intrigued? Pop into your favorite Iron Hill, grab a four-pack of Rising Sun, and wow your family and friends with this vegetarian beer pairing.

Recipe for Spicy Peanut-Coconut Noodles with Rising Sun IPA

Serves 4


  • 16 ounces spaghetti or buckwheat soba noodles (cook’s choice!)
  • 4 tablespoons of your favorite cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 9 ounces carrots, shredded
  • 6 ounces red onion, sliced
  • 3 ounces peanuts, chopped
  • 12 ounces cabbage, shaved
  • 2 ounces cucumber, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Cilantro as needed


  1. Boil pasta until al dente using directions on package; set aside.
  2. Add oil to hot wok or sauté pan.
  3. Add garlic and ginger, and cook until light golden brown.
  4. Add onion and carrot and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add cabbage and peanuts, and cook for 2 minutes more.
  6. Add pasta and toss to mix all ingredients.
  7. Add sauce (see recipe below) to sauté pan and allow dish to simmer for 2 minutes.
  8. Serve in your favorite bowl and garnish the top with fresh cilantro leaves.

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 ounce serrano pepper (or any chili pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 4 ounces Iron Hill Rising Sun beer
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Sauce Method

  1. Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until mostly smooth.

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Photos: Sophia DiPersio, Iron Hill

03/21/2017  |  A Love Affair with Bacon

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“I cannot tell a lie: Bacon is my favorite vegetable,” admitted David Foster, our Wilmington Executive Chef. You know a love affair with all things porcine is real when someone’s bursting at the seams to say those words.

Any doubts you might still have about Dave’s bacon obsession will fade quickly when you realize he’s crafted a bacon-infused cheesecake that also uses bacon fat instead of butter in the crust and bacon in the topping. It makes his Bacon-Brisket Chili almost sound tame.

“My adoration for bacon started early; I’ve loved it as long as I can remember,” he added. “I’m addicted to the flavor, the texture and all that saltiness. It’s perfect.”

Donning his Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant toque, Dave explains that bacon is a universal product that can go with virtually everything. He cites it as an obvious go-to atop burgers, other sandwiches and salads, thanks to its slight crunch and smoky notes. But Dave is an equal opportunity piggy parts purveyor. Case in point: He pays homage to bacon’s upper-crusty side by using roasted pork belly to wrap the filet whenever he makes a Beef Wellington.

“Pork belly is rich, almost buttery, and that makes it a natural with the Wellington’s savory mushrooms and puffed pastry,” he added with a slight drool.

Back to the bacon-laden cheesecake. Dave spent time as a baker and found it natural to incorporate his favorite “vegetable” into confections. Now, bacon is the darling of the treat scene, showing up candied, dipped in chocolate, nestled in toffee, mixed into brittle and tucked into cupcake frosting.

“Saltiness is a natural partner for sweetness,” Dave said. “Chop up bacon and fold it into chocolate brownie batter to taste how bacon’s characteristics brings out chocolate’s sweet notes.”

Another natural pairing? Bacon and beer. As a restaurant and brewery, we know a little something about that combo. Iron Hill has had its share of beer-and-bacon dinners (and will continue to offer them) that Dave and his fellow chefs see as opportunities to not only show off bacon’s greatness as an ingredient, but also to pair it with Iron Hill beer.

“You open a door when you pair beer with bacon,” Dave noted. “You’re used to seeing a good contrast (something spicy, like our fiery chipotle chicken wings app with our hoppy Ore House IPA) and a complement (something creamy, like our Triple Chocolate Hill dessert with our malty Russian Imperial Stout). Yet, it’s even better when you add bacon. The saltiness and richness we’ve been talking about cuts through something hearty like a classic chowder, and when you add a less-hoppy beer, like our Vienna Red™ Lager, it further cuts through the cream without overpowering the flavors. Bacon really is the perfect food. Have I mentioned that?”

Dave gets a bit nostalgic when mulling over his versatile, favorite ingredient. “A lot of people think bacon and think grocery store sliced bacon. Some know about pork belly. I invite you to think outside the breakfast menu and try prosciutto and pancetta, and to sample other cuts of meat like rib eye, lamb, goat, duck—you name it!—that have been cured in the style of bacon. Take a risk. You can’t go wrong!”

You also can’t go wrong with these two recipes, either, courtesy of our Dave “Bacon King” Foster. Stop by your favorite Iron Hill and grab a growler of our Pig Iron Porter and Vienna Red™ Lager so you’ll have some for cooking and some for taste testing. Cheers!

Bacon-Brisket Chili

Serves 8


  • 3 pounds beef brisket, cleaned and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 ounces vegetable oil
  • 1 pound bacon slices
  • 1 pound yellow onion, thinly diced
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 12 ounces Iron Hill Vienna Red™ Lager
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Optional garnish:

  • Monterey Jack cheese
  • Red onion, minced


  1. Trim and cube beef brisket into 2-inch cubes and season with salt.
  2. In a large pot, heat oil and sear brisket on all sides in batches; don’t overfill the pan.
  3. Reserve beef on separate plate.
  4. In remaining oil, cook sliced bacon until crisp.
  5. Reserve bacon on separate plate.
  6. Add onion and cook until soft.
  7. Add garlic and cook until aromatic.
  8. Add all dry spices and cook for 30 seconds.
  9. Deglaze pan with Vienna Lager (this will combine all the spices and loosen items from pan).
  10. Add tomatoes and incorporate.
  11. Add reserved beef and any liquid remaining.
  12. Add reserved bacon and incorporate.
  13. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 2 hours or until meat is tender.
  14. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chocolate Porter Cheesecake

Serves 12



  • 1 cup graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces bacon grease, melted


  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 ounces Iron Hill Pig Iron Porter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup cooked bacon, chopped


  1. Mix first four ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir in bacon grease by hand to ensure completely mixed.
  2. Add the mix to springform pan and press into a crust. Place pan in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  4. In tabletop mixer, cream together all ingredients except for cream cheese.
  5. Add cream cheese to bowl and mix until smooth, about four minutes, wiping down sides often.
  6. Add batter to springform pan.
  7. Place springform pan on cooking or baking tray deep enough so water added covers the bottom of the springform pan.
  8. Bake at 325 for 30 to 40 minutes, checking with toothpick until it removes from cake clean.
  9. Remove cake from oven, place on clean sheet pan and cool overnight in the refrigerator.
  10. Once cold, evenly spread 1 cup Chocolate Porter Ganache (see recipe below) over cheesecake. Cut into 12 pieces.

Chocolate Porter Ganache


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces Iron Hill Pig Iron Porter
  • 1 ounce bacon grease
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Place chocolate chips and beer into bowl.
  2. Heat heavy cream, bacon grease and butter to a simmer and pour over chocolate-beer mix.
  3. Allow the mixture to sit for 2 to 3 minutes to soften the chocolate.
  4. Mix thoroughly to incorporate chocolate until smooth.
  5. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
  6. Let set overnight so it will be spreadable.

Click here to see our Beer & Bacon Madness menu, available 3/23 – 4/3.

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Photos: Sophia DiPersio, Iron Hill

02/17/2017  |  We All Scream for Beer-Infused Ice Cream!

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There’s a lot to hoot and holler about thanks to our partnership with the University of Delaware. Think hand-churned ice creams created with Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s popular craft beer. It’s a win-win for the taste buds, but this partnership is about more than those yummy scoops.

“We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with the University of Delaware, and look forward to hosting its bright, inquisitive students as part of an undergraduate internship program,” said Iron Hill Co-Founder Kevin Davies. “We’re also excited and proud to offer our guests premium, from-scratch ice creams in a way that provides support to one of the nation’s most exceptional universities.”

You read that correctly: Students in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) will have the chance to do six-month undergraduate brewing internships at Iron Hill that will focus on the science of brewing. Our history of partnering with the University of Delaware dates back to 1996, when we opened our first brewery and restaurant in the heart of its Newark, Del., campus. We were delighted to host CANR students in our new brewpub who were taking the “Fermentations: Brewing and Beyond” class. We still collaborate with the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics as an internship location for beer school master’s degree students. This newest effort extends brewing internships to undergrads.

The sweet news for our guests is that UDairy Creamery will exclusively provide our 12 locations ice cream flavors such as vanilla, chocolate chip cookie dough and malted bourbon pecan, plus chocolate stout produced using our award-winning Russian Imperial Stout. It’s the UDairy Creamery’s first wholesale partnership, and we’re more than happy to be chosen. More great news: UDairy Creamery is a nonprofit, funneling its proceeds into expanding operations and the university’s dairy-farm research efforts.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to give UD students an easy access point to a brewing internship, and that this partnership has the potential to get more students interested in food science,” said Melinda Shaw, UDairy Creamery manager. “I think—especially with food science and fermentation, and what we’re doing with our new dairy plant and the other courses—that it’s something that every food science program should offer.”

Keep an eye on our websiteFacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts to stay up to date on this program and other exciting Iron Hill news.

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

UDairy Creamery video by Paul Puglisi; photos by Steve Legato

01/31/2017  |  Score Big This Sunday with Iron Hill Growlers

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The big game is coming, but you don’t have to be a fan of either team to win. You’ll be the MVP of any party when you bring a growler (or, more!) of Iron Hill beer.

Nail kick off with our Big Game Growler Grab happening now through Sunday, Feb. 5. Fill two 64 oz growlers with your favorites from our tap list and score a free pint glass. Better still: Grab four growlers and elevate your party with a custom flight tasting right from the comfort of your couch.

Nothing pairs better with our beer than takeout from our fresh food menu (click on the location nearest you). It’s a party to go when you stop by any one of our 12 Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant locations and catch belly-filling wings, pizzas, nachos, burgers or something vegetarian-friendly to go.

Round out the rest of your party game plan with our inclusive guide, Growler 101 with Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. Check our pro tips about how long beer stays fresh in a growler, which beers you can choose to put in growlers, how to maintain that precious vessel and more straight from the experts.

Wondering how to get your growler safely to the end zone … er … its final destination? Keep your head in the game with another Growler 101: Tips for Transporting Your Growlers Home Safely.

Last, but most certainly not least: We hate to brag (so indulge us), but our trophy case is filled with awards thanks to our brewers’ creativity, skills and love for great beer. Might that mojo rub off on your favorite team this Sunday? We’re hedging our bets and huddling up with growlers full of Iron Hill beer.

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Photos: Steve Legato


01/23/2017  |  Brewers Dish on Iron Hill’s Belgium Comes to West Chester on January 28

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Beer lovers know January is the real “most wonderful time of the year” because that’s when Belgium Comes to West Chester (BCWC) brings one of our favorite beer styles—and lots of our brewer friends—to Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

Circle Saturday, January 28, from 1-6 p.m., on your calendar and plan to be at our West Chester location, where 32 (and counting!) Belgian-style beers will be there for the tasting. According to West Chester Head Brewer Tim Stumpf, Belgian beer can be “almost anything and brewed any way the brewer chooses.” This tickles thirsty beer drinkers’ palates, thanks to spontaneous fermentation or barrel-aging, unique ingredients and so much more.

“I’ve had dandelion and mustard seed beer,” Tim said. “A lot of American brewing traditions are steeped in German beer styles, which have historically been very strict and specific. There’s a place for this, and it has its merits, but it can be limiting. For those who celebrate distinct and interesting flavors that satisfy, Belgian beers will not disappoint!”

Let’s take a moment to give a nod to BCWC’s creator, Iron Hill Chestnut Hill Head Brewer Chris LaPierre. He launched what has become an annual pilgrimage in 2007, based on his love for Belgian beers’ range of flavors and complexity. Tim said he carries on this tradition because “those who love beer tend to love more flavorful beer, and Belgian beer is the apex of satisfying flavor.”

It’s not just beer drinkers who flock to West Chester every January—our brewer friends can’t wait to bring their best to this annual fest. Belgian-style beers flow in from around the East Coast.

“This is one of the few times where we can all get together to share some beers,” Tim added. “My favorite part of BCWC is partying with the brewers and our friendly competition! This industry is like no other. Can you imagine if Apple called Microsoft and asked to borrow some technology? In the beer world, there’s tons of collaboration. Seven of the brewers coming to BCWC worked here, and I have been helped by almost everyone else. Brian O’Reilly from Sly Fox recently helped me with a cleaning chemical issue, Tim Roberts from Yards lives down the street from me and helped me move furniture, Tom Baker from Brewery Techne was our special guest at one of our first events, Mike Philbrick from Port Jeff brewed with me in Phoenixville before starting his own brewery, and this list can go on. I love these people very much.”

The love runs both ways, as evidenced by the feedback we’ve received:

Evan Fritz, Head Brewer, Manayunk Brewing Company

“The best component of this event is to see old friends and other local brewers. With so many uninteresting beer events and festivals these days, I enjoy how well Iron Hill puts together a fun day of amazing beers. We’ll be bringing Cuvée de Yunk, our Belgian-style sour ale fermented with ripe apricots. We chose this beer because it is delicious and refreshing, while complex and exciting. I’m thrilled to get the chance to try the St. Ben Dubbel and the Iron Hill Tawny Port Barrel-Aged Brett Old Ale.”

Andrew “Ruby” Rubenstein, Head Cellarman, 2SP Brewing Company

“This will be the second time 2SP Brewing has participated in BCWC. We’re sending Best Wishes, a 9.5% ABV dry-hopped saison. I always look forward to this event because it’s such a great group of people all in one room. Iron Hill always brings its best beers, and it’s fun to see the creativity and diversity of its brewers all on one list.”

Tim Patton, Proprietor, Saint Benjamin Brewing Company

“This is our first year. I’d heard of it before but was waiting until we were sending more beer into Chester County. Now that we’re doing that, it seemed like a great time to participate. We’re sending Franklin’s Abbey Dubbel—it’s one of my favorite Belgian styles. We’ve been to other Iron Hill events, so we know it’s going to be well organized and filled with attendees who are really into trying new beer.”

As for our own Tim, can’t wait to sip Denizens’ Oud Boy. “Jeff Ramirez, Head Brewer at Denizens, was once an Iron Hill brewer, and I know he is very creative. I can’t wait to try his beer. It’s a tough choice, though; I’ve never had most of these beers, and can’t wait to try them all! The Dogfish Head and Allagash beers sound very unique, and they are two breweries I really respect.”

Drink in the goodness from some of our favorite breweries (including other Iron Hill locations, of course!):

  • Big Oyster Brewery – Arya
  • Port Jeff Brewing Company – H3 Tripel
  • Sly Fox Brewing Company – Valor
  • Saint Benjamin Brewing Company – Belgian Dubbel
  • Stewart’s Brewing Company – Stumblin’ Monk
  • Brewery Techne – Bone View
  • Troegs Independent Brewing – Mad Elf
  • Denizens Brewing Company – Oud Boy
  • Vault Brewing Company – Belgian Blonde
  • Weyerbacher Brewing Company – Berry Monks
  • Yards Brewing Company – Trubbel de Yards
  • Manayunk Brewing Company – Cuvee de Yunk
  • Dock Street Brewing Company – Barrel Aged Bubbly Wit
  • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Siracusa Nera
  • Stickman Brews – Beer from a Farm
  • 2SP Brewing Company – Super Saison
  • 3rd Wave Brewing Company – Jessop’s Brambleberry
  • Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery – C’est la Vie
  • Allagash Brewing Company – James Bean
  • Victory Brewing Company – Sour Monkey
  • Iron Hill Newark – Fe20
  • Iron Hill Media – Sucker Punch
  • Iron Hill North Wales – Barrel Cherry Dubbel
  • Iron Hill North Wales – Blame the Dog
  • Iron Hill Huntingdon Valley – Akuma
  • Iron Hill Phoenixville – Honey Saison
  • Iron Hill Wilmington – Millennium Falcon
  • Iron Hill Chestnut Hill – Double Witbier
  • Iron Hill West Chester – Kabouter
  • Iron Hill Media – Funkadelphia
  • Iron Hill Media – Tawny Port Barrel-Aged Brett Old Ale
  • Iron Hill Maple Shade – The Cannibal™

Last, but certainly not least, here are Tim’s top tips for making the most of BCWC:

  • Come as early as possible.
  • Be responsible and plan for your transportation. If snagging a DD is an issue, make a reservation with Restaurant Valet: (877) 721-6155. Or you can take a page from the playbook of our Philly-area friends, who rent a bus to port them to and fro. Nice!
  • Take advantage of convenient parking. If you’re in charge of driving, you can check out the convenient and inexpensive parking practically across the street from Iron Hill in the Chestnut Street Garage. Lot full of revelers? Hit the Bicentennial Parking Garage a few blocks away on High Street. Bonus: We’ll provide two hours of parking validation!
  • Plan to eat something—throughout the day. Your best bet for grabbing a table at Iron Hill and noshing on our regular menu plus the day’s Belgium-inspired fare (see that below!) is to make a reservation well ahead of time. Use OpenTable or call us at (610) 738-9600.
  • Sip on a sampler! It’s the best way to try a variety of beers. Samplers are eight 4-ounce beers for $20. The pro move: Each friend gets a different one to share.
  • Attention King of the Hill Rewards Club members: You, our most loyal customers, may enter BCWC at noon.

One last tip: make sure your phone is charged so you can blow up your social media with the hashtag #BCWC2017. We can’t wait to welcome you to #BCWC2017!

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone


12/28/2016  |  Homegrown Musician: Head Brewer Chris Endrikat

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There’s a pattern with Chris Endrikat, our North Wales head brewer: Give what Dad and big brother are doing a try, and then make a career of it. That’s how he got into music and home-brewing, and ended up touring the world and turning out Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant beer.

“My dad was a jazz trumpet player, so there were always instruments around the house,” Chris noted. “My brother is two years older and got a guitar when he was 10; that’s when I got into the drums.”

Like most kids interested in music, Chris joined his elementary school band and was rewarded for his efforts with a drum set in fifth grade. Lessons continued through middle school, but by then he and his brother were finding their sound in bands—something they do to this day.

“We’ve been in five bands together,” he added. “We’re in two right now. I play the drums in one, and guitar in the other. Luckily, I have a brother who was nice enough to teach me the guitar as a kid.”

Brewing also runs in the family. His love for beer started at home as a kid, scrubbing bottles and observing his father, brother and cousin home-brew. He stumbled across Keystone Homebrew Supply, and the rest is delicious history.

“It’s amazing how many people got their start there who are now working at breweries, including Iron Hill,” Chris explained. “I really got into it when my brother and I were the best men in our friend Andrew Howard’s wedding. We got him a home-brew kit—and he went nuts with it. We brewed with him all the time. He’s now at Yards Brewing Company.”

Chris honed his brewing skills much the same way he did his musical chops—one step at a time, with hard work. He started serving at Iron Hill’s North Wales location, and the second he turned 21 he began volunteering in the brewery. He did that for several months, then was hired as an assistant. He had the opportunity to be the lead brewer in West Chester and jumped at the chance to further refine his talents and his creativity. A little over one year later, he was promoted to North Wales’ head brewer.

“One of the nice things about Iron Hill is we have the opportunity to brew traditional styles, but are free to try new and experimental beers, too,” he said.

That tracks with his musical tastes, which, like our beers on tap, change frequently. You might catch punk, reggae, ska, soul or Motown on his playlist—this week. He calls his first concert in 2003—Dropkick Murphys, an American Celtic punk hailing from Massachusetts he saw at a small club in Lancaster—a defining moment.

“The punk scene is global, but a really tight community,” Chris explained. “We were fortunate enough to grow up in a great scene in Philly. The hospitality we’ve been shown all over the world is incredible. We try to reciprocate that hospitality as often as possible, whether it’s throwing a barbecue or just letting a touring band crash with us. Very few bands actually break even on tours, so any time bands can help each other out is great.”

That’s just the start of what Chris loves about music. He’s completely into all aspects: writing, recording and touring. His bands have worked with U.S., Dutch, Czech and German record labels, which keeps them busy around our country but also opened up European tours.

“We’re extremely grateful that we get to travel to new places, whether it be the U.S., Canada or now Europe,” he said. “It’s a great way for me to see what other brewers are doing all over. We were in a craft beer bar in Barcelona, where the tap list looked very similar to a bar in the States—filled with IPAs and saisons. We also got to visit Brauerei Weihenstephan, the oldest brewery in the world, just north of Munich. It was amazing drinking a pilsner in Germany because it’s the benchmark for the style. We brew a lot of German styles at Iron Hill, so that was pretty humbling.”

How does Chris manage to be a brewer by day and musician by night? He says Iron Hill is incredibly supportive. He takes both roles seriously—whether it’s washing kegs or recording a record. He’s also well aware he’s gotten to learn brewing from some of the most award-winning brewers in the industry.

“I get to learn the brewing standards from the incredibly talented guys who came before me, and that’s something I totally appreciate and never forget,” he added.

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Photos, top to bottom: Christine Caton, Noisy Little Critter, © Brewers Association

12/05/2016  |  From Homebrewer to Head Brewer (Plus Free Advice!): Moriah Guise

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If Newark Head Brewer Moriah Guise has heard it once, she’s heard it a thousand times: “How do I get your job?”

“I don’t mind hearing that at all,” she said, laughing. “That’s a common question among homebrewers. They have this awesome hobby and they want to make money with it. Since most of us at Iron Hill started as homebrewers, it’s a great question.”

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s storied history started with two friends who just happened to be award-winning homebrewers, Kevin Finn and Mark Edelson. It’s no surprise, then, that many homebrewers have worked their way into our ranks.

“If you’re a homebrewer, your choices are to work for an established brewery or start your own,” Moriah added. “Unless you’ve got great funding, aiming for an established brewery is the way to go. Just be prepared to work your way up; it’s hard work, but it’s worth it.”

At Iron Hill, most of our brewery staff started in another role. We love to promote from within! Many started as servers, dishwashers and other restaurant-side employees.

“We do have a few brewers who came from other breweries, but we’ve got a solid history of spying talent at Iron Hill,” Moriah said. “I started as a server in Wilmington in 2011, and fell in love with the company. I volunteered for events, helped bottle and can, and got to know everyone. I like to say I was persistent, but just on this side of being annoying! When the opportunity opened up I was able to transition to the brewery department.”

Moriah has been homebrewing for about a decade, starting when she was living in Nashville. The microbrewery scene wasn’t as robust back then, but she sought out brewers and picked their brains.

“I started hanging out in this crazy shop that was part gardening store, part homebrewing supplies,” she explained. “That’s how I started this hobby. I became a borderline science nerd by making beer I really liked. Plus, it was pretty cool to be able to give a mixed six at Christmas that I made myself.”

Once she got into our brewery, Moriah quickly became the Wilmington assistant brewer. In April 2015 she went to the Voorhees location as lead brewer, which she calls “head brewer in training.” She sharpened her management side, and earned the Newark head brewer job in November 2015.

Any Iron Hill employee eyeing a spot on the brewery has the opportunity to brew for a day. Moriah highly recommends it, as brewing isn’t all “sunshine and rainbows; there’s some grunt work that comes with it. We brewers always joke: chefs have dishwashers; we have ourselves. Those who come out for a brew day can see if they can deal with the ‘glamour’ and the grunt.”

Moriah is still active with First State Brewers, and still homebrews. She fields a lot of questions there—and at Iron Hill. Guests come in with recipes, samples and even bottles of their finished products to ask for honest feedback.

“It’s one of the really nice things about Iron Hill specifically—we’re encouraged to stay accessible to our guests,” she added. “They’ll ask us to try a beer because they feel something’s missing, recommend hops to balance a beer or just brainstorm about a style. I love that part of being an Iron Hill brewer.”

Are you a homebrewer? Thinking about it? Want the inside skinny? Stop by your local Iron Hill and see who’s in, plus check out some on-point advice, courtesy of Moriah:

Join a club.

Homebrewers clubs are “super awesome groups of people seriously interested in the hobby, from newbies to seasoned homebrewers,” Moriah said. It’s a relaxed environment to talk about recipes, hear guest speakers and get a handle on it all before you invest.

You don’t have to go to school to become a brewer.

Moriah notes that there are amazing schools that delve into brewing and fermentation science, but that the school of hard knocks also works. “Iron Hill encourages us to get continuing education, so I’m currently enrolled with the American Brewers Guild for a certification,” she said.

It’s not hard to be female in a (currently) male-dominated industry.

“Brewers are the most welcoming group of people,” Moriah explained. “Everyone is there with the same idea: to brew great beer. All walks of life—different ages, male, female, whatever—we’re all in it for the same reason.” When she does want to get in touch with her sister brewers, she takes advantage of her Pink Boots Society membership. The organization assists, inspires and encourages women beer professionals through education.

You probably won’t save money as a homebrewer—but it’s worth it.

Moriah wants you to know: you’re going to dump some beer on your homebrewing journey. And, it hurts. “It happens! You won’t be perfect coming out of the gate. We’ve all spent an entire Saturday brewing, then weeks carefully checking on our homebrew, only to find it’s bad and needs to be dumped. Stick with it! Write down everything you do, because something totally random could make or break your next batch. It’s all worth it when you take something you hand-crafted, give it to someone and say, ‘I made this.’”

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Photos: Sophia DiPersio of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

11/17/2016  |  A Fitting Tribute: Last Alarm IPA Honors Fallen Firefighters

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It took about a minute for Wilmington Head Brewer Justin Sproul to say “yes” when presented with the idea to brew a special beer to honor two local firefighters lost in the line of duty.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant server Sam Cannon is a volunteer firefighter who—like many—was deeply touched by the deaths of Lt. Christopher Leach, 41, and Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes, 51. She suggested we go beyond the Give 20 and bring in Wilmington Fire Department Local 1590 firefighters to craft a tribute beer.

“Sam’s idea made us really proud,” Justin said. “It felt really good to give back. It reminded us that we don’t need a tragedy to do something like this; we want to continue the relationship with our Wilmington firefighters and hope to make it an annual event.”

All Iron Hill locations host Give 20 events—fun and delicious ways for nonprofits to raise money by bringing together their friends and families to dine with us and enjoy 20 percent of the evening’s take. The Last Alarm IPA project went a step further: not only did 20 percent of the proceeds go to WFD Local 1590, but an additional $1 for every pint and mug of Last Alarm also was donated, right until the very last drop.

Last Alarm IPA brew day was a crisp fall day that brought together Justin and his brewing crew with five firefighters. They hung out, sampled some beers and—of course—took part in Last Alarm IPA’s creation. Justin was also moved by the firefighters’ telling stories and reminiscing about their fallen friends.

Fellow firefighter John Cawthray—who was injured in that fateful fire—pulled the first pour of First Alarm IPA at a special event held at our Wilmington brewpub. It was an emotional moment for all, with thoughts going to Chris, Jerry and their families, and also to the two firefighters still hospitalized with injuries from the blaze. There was a moment of silence, a toast and then many more pours.

“We chose an IPA because it’s a great beer, but also because we could make it rather quickly to honor those guys,” Justin added. “An IPA also allowed us to make a nice, balanced beer to appeal to craft beer drinkers, yet not intimidate noncraft beer drinkers. Last Alarm IPA has some nice citrusy and piney hop notes and a subtle malt profile, so there’s not an aggressive bitterness. The guys from 1590 agreed!”

Our chefs and kitchen staff got on board right away and created signature food for a special day: Smoked Beef Brisket Chili with roasted tomato, cumin, red onion, jalapeño and optional “3-alarm sauce” plus Fire House Wings served with celery and carrot sticks and a spicy Szechuan chili sauce, with sweet plum-ginger sauce for dipping—both perfect with a refreshing IPA.

“This is the kind of thing that makes Iron Hill unique,” Justin added. “We’re part of our community and stand by our community. We’re so proud to have raised money to support Chris’ and Jerry’s families. If you missed it, you can still help: there’s a GoFundMe page, too.”

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Photos: Sophia DiPersio of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

10/28/2016  |  Seasonal Favorite Recipe: Iron Hill Chorizo and Pumpkin Chili

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There’s something soul-warming about eating chili in the fall. Picture crisp weather, snuggling into your favorite sweatshirt, seeing your breath in the air and feeling your belly full of hearty chili—chased with an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Pumpkin Ale, of course.

Our medium-bodied copper ale is malty-sweet with balancing bitterness. We spice it with traditional pumpkin pie spices and vanilla instead of finishing hops, making it a smooth sipping beer that pairs perfectly with rustic comfort foods like Chorizo and Pumpkin Chili.

We asked assistant director of culinary operations Dan Bethard to rustle up a special recipe for you, our hungry (and, thirsty!) fans, and he pulled out all the stops using our seasonal Pumpkin Ale. You’ll be in high demand at tailgates, potlucks, football-watching parties and other seasonal socials when you’re toting along a big batch of this just-right-spiced chili.

“This recipe uses beef and sausage for a good flavor balance,” Dan explains. “There’s a slight contrast in texture, too, which makes beef and pork play well together. We’ve been making this on and off for years, and it only gets better with our Pumpkin Ale.”

Another secret: Iron Hill Chorizo and Pumpkin Chili features long-neck pumpkins, often called crookneck squash. They’re local and available this time of year and bring the ideal texture and flavors when diced and added near the end of the cooking process.

Ready to cook like an Iron Hill chef? Before you start, take note of Dan’s top three tips for nailing this chili recipe:

1. Let it cook long enough.

This means allowing the time for the meat’s fibers to cook out. If they appear tough and stringy, they’re not done. Be patient. Let it simmer and give the protein a chance to soften up (and soak in flavors, too).

2. Use your taste buds to determine when it’s done.

Sure, you have to set a timer now and again, but the best way to know if it’s really, really done is to check it and taste it. Simmering is where the love comes in because it infuses the chili with layers of flavors. You add the extra love when you taste and adjust the seasonings.

3. Don’t skip the red wine vinegar.

The recipe calls for red wine vinegar near the end; it’s the same as adding lemon juice at the end of a seafood chowder recipe. The vinegar’s acid brings out bright flavors and a fresh taste, The tomato acid isn’t enough in this big chili—add the vinegar and savor the difference.

Bonus tip: Grab a Pumpkin Ale growler or 4-pack from your favorite Iron Hill so you have plenty of beer to accompany your chili. Cheers!


Iron Hill Chorizo and Pumpkin Chili

Makes 2 gallons


  • 2.5 lbs. ground beef
  • 5 lbs. chorizo
  • 4 cups raw pinto beans
  • 2 tbsp. dark chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ancho chile powder
  • 2 oz pureed chipotles in adobo
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 6 cups Spanish onions, medium diced
  • 6 cups green bell pepper, medium diced
  • 2 tbsp. minced jalapeños
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 cup Iron Hill Pumpkin Ale
  • 1 gallon beef broth
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups long neck pumpkins, medium diced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar


  1. In two medium-sized rondos or other appropriate pans, cook ground beef in one pan and chorizo in the other, chopping with a spoon and then a potato masher to break up. Drain each into a colander and set aside.
  2. In a pot, submerge pinto beans in water. Bring to a boil, then simmer pinto beans until done (soft to the bite). Drain and set aside.
  3. Puree the chipotle peppers. Add to medium stainless steel or other nonreactive bowl and mix in dark chili powder, ancho chile powder, black pepper, cumin, oregano and sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a pot, sweat the onions, peppers, jalapeños and garlic in oil for about 8-10 minutes until they become soft.
  5. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and beer. Cook until the beer is reduced by half its volume
  6. Add beef broth, spice mixture and salt and cook for 20 minutes. Stir often.
  7. Add meats and cook for 90 minutes longer. Stir often.
  8. Finish by adding the cooked beans, diced pumpkin and vinegar. Cook for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin becomes tender; check the seasoning and add more if needed.

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Pumpkin ale photo, credit Steve Legato; remaining photos credited to Sophia DiPersio

09/22/2016  |  Inspiring Loyalty: The GABF Staff Party

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For the past 20 years, Iron Hill has attended the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, Colorado—a prestigious beer festival and competition that boasts “the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served.” Each year we send a handful of our employees to the festival to immerse them in the craft brew culture. For those fortunate enough to attend, the three day-long event is a whirlwind of tastings, brewery tours, company outings and more. To put it simply—the entire trip is a damn good time!

Unfortunately, not every employee gets to make the coveted trip to Denver. (Someone’s gotta stay here and serve you the tasty stuff!) So, to include everyone in the GABF spirit, we began hosting a companywide GABF Staff Party. In its 20th year, the 2016 party featured a casino setup, DJ and dance floor, photo booths, a buffet, Iron Hill beer, and a major highlight of the night—a donut wall! You read that right… a donut wall. A wall. Made of donuts. It was as amazing as it sounds.

Nearly 600 people attended the festivities, giving employees from all locations and positions a chance to meet and mingle. For Tim Stumpf, Head Brewer in West Chester, this is the best part of the event.

“My favorite part of the GABF party is definitely seeing all of my old friends who I have worked with over the years. I’ve been with Iron Hill since 1998, and worked for extended periods in the first 6 Iron Hill locations, so it’s really great to see how far all of my friends have come. Some are department heads now, others are starting families, it’s really great to have a chance to catch up and reminisce about old times.”

The evening is filled with dancing, laughter and a sense of camaraderie most companies only dream about. That camaraderie is a result of Iron Hill’s core values and something we strive for on a daily basis—to inspire loyalty, not just from our guests, but within the company as well.

To make the party possible, each Iron Hill location shuts its doors a few hours early to allow every employee the opportunity to attend. According to Shannon Mahoney, a manager at our Huntingdon Valley location, this speaks volumes about our culture.

“I don’t know many restaurants/companies that are willing to close down all of their locations so that their staff can have a night off and enjoy themselves with one another. It’s a huge ‘thank you’ to all of the employees and I think it continues to build the positive culture that Iron Hill strives and thrives on!”

As Lorraine Serva, Director of Human Resources, sees it, hosting this event each year really highlights the importance of the “People” aspect of our three core values—People, Product, Profit.

“We have a major party where we invite 1000+ employees. We rent a DJ, casino night, photographer, photo booths, this year a donut wall, and we have a full buffet. We even order busses to take away the worry of figuring out transportation. It’s quite an undertaking and the fact that we lose revenue by closing all locations for the night is secondary to creating a memorable evening to celebrate our employees and all that they do. If we were only concerned about profit, we’d never be able to have this lavish ‘Iron Hill Prom.’”

In addition to all the fun stuff we rent for the evening, we also use the party to hand out a few awards. (This party just keeps getting better, huh?) First of the night is the Brewie, awarded this year to the Phoenixville team. The Brewie recognizes the location that leads the year in categories like sales, safety, customer surveys and more.

Up next—awarding one person from each location a trip to GABF! That’s right, an employee from every restaurant wins a trip to Denver on the Iron Hill tab. Pretty cool, huh? Everyone 21+ is eligible and entries are gained on a points based system, with points being given for things like hours worked, years of service, brewing for a day, bottling, safety committee and more.

For Regional Brewer Kevin Walter, being present when the winners of the Brewie and GABF trips are announced is a major highlight of the evening.

“My favorite part of the GABF party is seeing the reactions from the staff when Mark Edelson, Kevin Finn and Kevin Davies give out the awards. It’s awesome to see how excited they are.”

Once the awards are said and done, the rest of the night is dedicated to drinking beer, dancing and battling it out over Blackjack at the casino tables. (Oh, and donuts. Can’t forget that donut wall!)  As Co-Founder and Director of Brewery Operations Mark Edelson notes, this event gives people who work on typical off-times like nights, weekends and holidays a chance to get together and let loose.

“In the hospitality business, we work when everyone else plays, so it is nice to set some time aside, shut down the restaurants and gather. I think it is great that we can all get together in one place. It is an opportunity for us to give back and throw a big party for staff and celebrate their   hard work.”

For Kevin Finn, Co-Founder and President, throwing the GABF Staff Party shows our dedication to inspiring loyalty year after year, and is a testament to the Iron Hill culture we’ve built since day one.

“It’s special because it is a tradition and we have stuck to it over the years. More importantly, I find it very fulfilling when so many employees come up and personally thank us for the party. Culturally, it reinforces how important our employees are to our success.”


With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Sophia DiPersio
Photos © Brian Penn